Kepler telescope dead after finding thousands of worlds

‘Goodnight, Kepler’: NASA’s Planet-Hunting Telescope Has Finally Run Out Of Fuel

By NASA Ames/ W Stenzel [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsNASA officially bid farewell to the Kepler space telescope on October 30 after it ran out of fuel.

Regarded as NASA's first planet-hunting mission, Kepler's exploits will be followed up by more advanced optical instruments on board the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched earlier this year, as well as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) once it is in orbit.

"As NASA's first planet-hunting mission, Kepler has wildly exceeded all our expectations and paved the way for our exploration and search for life in the solar system and beyond", stated Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator at NASA. "Now we know because of the Kepler Space Telescope and its science mission that planets are more common than stars in our galaxy".

NASA's retired principal investigator for the Kepler mission, Bill Borucki, described it as an "enormous success."We have shown that there are more planets than stars in our galaxy", Borucki said".

Kepler Space Telescope was named after German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer, Johannes Kepler, a key figure in the 17th-century scientific revolution.

Kepler was able to detect light from stars, but NASA is also studying plans for space observatories that are capable of detecting light from planets.

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Telescope "Kepler", launched by NASA in March 2009 to search for new worlds, finally stopped working.

Nevertheless, NASA has more than 60 operational science missions right now, a "golden age of NASA science" according to Hertz.

This illustration made available by NASA shows the Kepler Space Telescope. Scientists will spend "a decade or more in search of new discoveries in the treasure trove of data Kepler provided". The data provided by Kepler has also helped the researchers come up with a new method of accessing if a planet comprised of a solid surface, such as Mars and Earth or gaseous such as Saturn and Jupiter.

Armed with the latest state-of-the-art equipment, do you think that TESS will discover what the Kepler Space Telescope failed to find: alien life forms and habitable planets? "It was an extremely clever approach to doing this kind of science", said Leslie Livesay, director for astronomy and physics at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who served as Kepler project manager during mission development. Originally only created to operate for around three and a half years, the spacecraft ultimately spent over nine and a half years in operation.

A successor to Kepler launched in April, NASA's Tess spacecraft, has its sights on stars closer to home.

Kepler watched the very beginning of exploding stars, or supernovae, to gain unprecedented insight about stars and witnessed the death of a solar system. Now, Nasa's hashtag "moreplanetsthanstars" says it all: the universe is home to more planets than stars, with billions of potentially habitable planets just in our own galaxy. JWST will take pictures in infrared light, which is invisible to human eyes yet ideal for studying planets through the clouds of gas and dust in space that typically obscure distant worlds.

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